The Chatterbox

The Chatterbox

News and views from the staff of FamilyEducation.



JohnROSS's picture JohnROSS

In 1976 I spent a semester in Hong Kong. For a 17 year old from small town Kansas it was quite an eye opener. Yes, that feeling of displacement, or fragmentation perhaps, can be maddening. Of course Hong Kong was so different and so brief that it was never home, always almost more alien than foreign. Still, I know about that putting in boxes thing. Also, I remember how ordinary and yet how newly strange things seemed upon my return to Kansas.

I imagine that time in Italy to have bordered on magical and I'm glad you got to have that time there, and that I got to have mine in Hong Kong.

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

It was so magical...I guess I struggle with how to share it with my kids. I also think I'm realizing that there are many experiences we can't share with our children (or even our partners) and that this is ok. They belong to us, and because they are a part of us, those we love get to share in them, too.

Omaha Mama's picture Omaha Mama

I think it will happen one day, you'll be able to take your kids and what a trip it will be! I spent only 10 days in the UK and want so much to go back some day. It makes me sad to think we may not, so I choose to believe that yes, some day I can take my kids to see the places I enjoyed seeing as a 19-year old. Until then, I just have the pictures and the memories. And a vague goal to make a special scrapbook from the pics and various things I kept from that trip.

Lilianpw's picture Lilianpw

I remember this post **very fondly** from the other blog, I wish I could re-read my comment to it (that's one of the reasons I get upset when people take their blogs down -- not really the case with you 'cause you moved here -- my comments go with them and I miss them, since I write so many of them).

In any case, did your sister visit recently or a while back? I wonder what your reaction to the photos was/will be.

I live this crazy division day in day out, more recently not so much, but 25 years in one place and 14 in another makes for an interesting life. I hope I'm making good memories for the boys every time we travel to Brazil. (continues in the next comment)

Lilianpw's picture Lilianpw


Oh, and you're right, these memories can't really be passed on to your children or partners, you have to give them your own. It's only your parents and siblings who can really understand your feelings. That's why for me it's crucial that both K and I are Brazilian expatriates, we understand each other fully.

Of course there are 19 years of our lives that we didn't know each other and those we try to convey to one another -- in a similar way that you're talking about sharing those memories with your family. Sometimes I feel that I have captured pretty well K's life before we met, but there are always new things that he remembers and shares with me once in a while. [I just realized that what I just wrote kind of contradicts what I said above, but it's ok... things can go both ways in this whole memory subject ;-) ].

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

My sister just visited Italy this summer, Lilian...I was envious, I'll freely admit it! We cleaned out our closets this weekend and I looked through the boxes again and thought about Italy, and about what I had written before about those memories.

I hope you're right, Omaha--one day we can all go back!

Lilianpw's picture Lilianpw

Oh... I know about the jealousy (I just wrote about my BIL's family & Cancun, of course your case is different), but I still hope that you have a great time unearthing memories when you do get to talk to her about her trip! Maybe you could write a post about that when it happens (if it's a good experience, obviously).

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

I never feel I get the chance anymore to sit and talk with my siblings--I don't know if you feel this way when you visit relatives. Everything's so whilrlwind and so focused on the kids, that I never get the chance to sit and talk. But I'm hoping to do so when we go up for Labor Day.